Sunderland kept up the pressure on Barnsley in the race for a spot in the Championship, winning 2-1 at Rochdale this weekend.
Jack Ross’ side needed a last-gasp goal by the returning George Honeyman to secure all three points against a spirit Rochdale side, who led for 40 minutes thanks to Ian Henderson’s first half strike.
Charlie Wyke bagged just before the hour mark as Sunderland turned up the heat, before first half sub Honeyman struck with just seconds left to play. He’s missed the last three games through suspension, but couldn’t have picked a better time to bounce back.
The win, coupled with Barnsley’s surprised 3-1 defeat at Burton Albion, moved the Black Cats onto 79 points, with two games in hand over Daniel Stendels’ ailing side. Whilst they’re out of form, the Black Cats have found a real rhythm in the league now.
They’ve lost the fewest matches of any side in the Football League, with just two defeats all season and as we enter the final stage of the campaign, they look a great bet for an immediate return to the second tier.
Despite being in the final stages of the season, we still found three very important things out about Sunderland this weekend.
There’s no Wembley hangover
Losing in the EFL Trophy could have knocked their confidence, but they’ve shown real resilience since last weekend’s disappointment.
That’s two wins from two now and they’ve got to be favourites to join Luton in the top two.
It’s displayed real character and focus to move on and pick up vital points.
Wyke is back
It was Charlie Wyke’s first league goal since September 1st and only his third in all competitions, but what a time to find some form.
The former Bradford man has had a torrid season, but if he pops up with a couple more to secure promotion, he’ll be a hero on Wearside nonetheless.
They’ll never give up
They’ve shown true character during matches of late. Snatching the late draw at Wycombe is one example, this being another.
Make no mistake, Rochdale might be struggling but they were a tough and committed side themselves.
Sunderland showed both patience and application in those dying stages.